Paris when it sizzles at 38 deg C

“Along the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrels carry the day’s wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are fused in one realisation, Guillotine.”

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

pantheon parisWe walked slowly, our eyes fixed on the domed roof. The headphone-thingy talked about symmetry, symbolism, liberté, égalité, fraternity. Léon Foucault’s pendulum swung back and forth beside us where it has almost always been since 1851. Christ looked on from his mosaic-ed position on the eastern wall, down at La Convention Nationale sculpture, as if blessing French nationalism … Continue reading Paris when it sizzles at 38 deg C

Parlez-vous français? The importance of learning a foreign language.

“If you ask the great city, ‘Who is this person?,’ she will answer, ‘He is my child.”

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Comment allez vous mes lecteurs?

parlez vous Francais?

Whatever you do, don’t take the decision to learn a new language lightly. To slightly mis-quote from one of my favourite novels set in France, the journey of learning a language is “the best of times, it (is) the worst of times, it (is) the age of wisdom, it (is) the age of foolishness…”.

I was always considered the ‘language person’ in our family. I speak two languages fluently, though one more fluently than the other, and two rather poorly. To have an initial talent in something is not a recipe for success as I learnt rather quickly when I began a night class in French some years ago as an adult. Continue reading Parlez-vous français? The importance of learning a foreign language.

Going mad in the heat and dans le noir

“If we don’t go mad once in a while, there’s no hope.”

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

London is hot hot hotLondon is ROASTING.

There is not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind. It’s 37 degrees on our terrace, 31 degrees in our kitchen and another week of swelter is predicted. Yes, these are the numbers at 18:30 in the evening. Yes, this is London. No we have no rain or cloud to offer at this time – out of stock.

Continue reading Going mad in the heat and dans le noir

Back to the gym

“The room door opened, and Mrs Waterbrook, who was a large lady – or who wore a large dress: I don’t exactly know which, for I don’t know which was dress and which was lady – came sailing in.”

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Back to the gymI’m sorry to keep coming back to Dickens, but this one was a priceless nugget under a pile of clippings which I have fished out on the auspicious occasion of my return to the gym.

I also love a giggle and thought you might like this description.

For a very good reason, Continue reading Back to the gym